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Patient Stories – Tom

I was diagnosed at 14 or 15. At the time my doctor told me there was nothing that could be done—other than exercise. But the pain continued throughout my life.

I was 38 when I went to see Dr. McCance. By then I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning—it was a really painful experience. I had arthritic pain from the bones rubbing together—and bones hitting nerves. My life from boyhood until nearly 40 was one long, painful experience.

Tom // Age: 38
Condition // Spondylolisthesis
Occupation // Market Research (NY)

How did you find Dr. McCance?

When I initially searched online I was looking for a more holistic treatment. While I was searching I came across people talking about Dr. McCance. And there was someone in my office who had back surgery with him. I liked that his website had information on alternatives to surgery. I went to talk to him and he did think I was a candidate for fusion surgery. I left his office thinking I was not going to do it. I had heard so many things about back surgery.

Why did you choose Dr. McCance for your spine surgery?

When I first walked into the office I saw that it was a highly professional environment. The people were very organized. It gave me a lot of confidence. I could see they definitely knew what they were doing. When I met with Dr. McCance it was clear that he was absolutely knowledgeable about this particular issue. He explained everything to me in a very understandable way. I had a lot of confidence that he was giving me correct information. He wasn’t just trying to sell me on surgery.

He encouraged me to explore holistic options and to see an osteopath and a physical therapist. Even the osteopath told me that this was going to be only a temporary option until I got the surgery. It was clear that surgery was something that had to be done. Otherwise I could lose full feeling in my legs, or even the use of them. But the idea of back surgery was still a frightening prospect.

I went back to see Dr. McCance again and he gave me more details about the surgery and what to expect—how to prepare for it; what he would do; what happens afterwards—the entire operation from beginning through recovery. And that gave me a lot of confidence.

When Dr. McCance scheduled my surgery he enrolled me in the Spine School at Mt Sinai Hospital. It’s a terrific program. Day in and day out they deal with people with back surgery. I had the chance to meet the people I would see in pre-, during and post-surgery. That gave me a lot of confidence. He told me how I would be able to move around after the surgery—and that was invaluable. I still had a little fear of the pain from the surgery.

How did you feel after your surgery?

After the surgery, as soon as I awoke, I knew that my pain was gone. I could feel immediately that my pain had been lifted away. And I knew that my surgery pain would be going away. Dr. McCance’s staff at Mt. Sinai were really terrific. They all treated me very well.

Dr. McCance was very attentive. I saw him a few times in the hospital—which was more than I expected. He was there to answer all my questions. He assured me that the pain I was feeling was normal and it would go away.

I was in the hospital for 3 or 4 days. They start you walking practically as soon as you wake up. I trusted them. I felt very comfortable getting advice from Diana, his Physician Assistant. She let me know she was always available. She even attended the Spine School at Mt Sinai I attended. It was great to see her there. After surgery she came to the hospital to check up and examine me. Diana is a great resource for Dr. McCance. I trust her as much as I trust him.

The follow-up office visits are perfectly timed for the steps in your recovery. It was a new experience to not feel back pain anymore. After a lifetime of having back pain—it was amazing. Dr. McCance prescribed being out of work for 8 weeks, but I felt so good I went back after 6 wks.

How do you feel now?

Getting out of bed, working at my desk—everything feels completely different without the searing pain.

Dr. McCance is knowledgeable, attentive, experienced, caring and smart. I recommend him to other people with the utmost enthusiasm.